The Discover it cashback credit card is a great choice for saving money on everyday spending because you get 1 percent back on everything you buy. It also has quarterly bonus categories that can earn cardholders up to 5 percent. If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, there’s still time this year to earn that fourth quarter bonus on Amazon and Target purchases.
Discover’s full rewards calendar for next year has also been released and includes more general categories, with Amazon being the only actual retailer named. Target is off the list for 2018, as well as home improvement stores and ground transportation, but wholesale clubs earn bonuses in the first and fourth quarters.
With 5 percent cash back on purchases and Discover’s automatic cashback match at the end of your first year as a cardmember, you’ll be able to reap a total of 10 percent back on category purchases..
Below is the quarterly calendar including details on what purchases are included and how to maximize your savings.
The Discover it Card’s 2018 Cashback Calendar
- October to December 2017: Amazon and Target
- January to March 2018: Gas Stations and Wholesale Clubs
- April to June 2018: Grocery Stores
- July to September 2018: Restaurants
- October to December 2018: Amazon and Wholesale Clubs
Earn Cash Back Every Quarter
With 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter and Discover’s automatic cashback match, card members can earn up to $300 per quarter, or $1,200 per year. And there is no annual fee. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. When combined with the other cash-saving tips below, there are endless opportunities to save.
Your rewards will never expire and can be redeemed at any time. The card also offers 0% APR for 14 months on all purchases and balance transfers. To receive 5 percent cash back, you must activate the bonus each quarter.
Discover it® - Cashback Match™
- % 5% in rotating categories each quarter like Gas, Dining, Amazon.com, Wholesale Clubs and more
- % 1% on Travel
- % 1% on Groceries
- % 1% on All Other Purchases
- Up to 5% cash back offer
- Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn dollar for dollar at the end of your first year
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
- % 3% balance transfer fee
How to Activate the 5 Percent Rewards Categories
Activation can be done up to two months in advance of the new quarter through your Discover card account. Log in to your account and click on Rewards. Then select “5 Percent Cashback Bonus” from the dropdown menu, choose the corresponding quarter and press activate. All rewards will show up at the end of the credit card billing cycle and can be redeemed in the form of a deposit in your bank account, a statement credit toward your bill, Amazon.com credits or gift cards.
October to December 2017
Earn 5% at Amazon and Target
For the rest of 2017, Discover it cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back through the Amazon marketplace and at Target, SuperTarget and Target.com. Rewards apply to all digital downloads, Amazon.com gift cards, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Local Deals and all third-party merchants through Amazon.com. The bonus even applies to Prime membership fees.
You’ll get the bonus cash back at Target for food, clothing, cleaning supplies, electronics and more. For more savings, download the Cartwheel app to get Target coupons ranging from 5 to 30 percent off select items. The 5 percent reward may not apply to standalone stores within the Target location, such as Starbucks and Sbarro.
January to March 2018
Earn 5% at Gas Stations and Wholesale Clubs
For the first quarter of 2018, you can save at all gas stations and wholesale clubs, including Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s and more. Gas stations associated with superstores may not be eligible.
April to June 2018
Earn 5% at Grocery Stores
Shop for all the groceries you need and earn 5 percent cash back at Giant, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s and more. Convenience stores, gas stations, warehouse clubs, supercenters and discount stores are not eligible.
July to September 2018
Earn 5% at Restaurants
Enjoy the summer with 5 percent cash back at all restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and fast food locations. Whether you’re treating yourself to a Friday date night or grabbing a bagel and coffee on your way to work, you can earn bonus cash rewards.
October to December 2018
Earn 5% at Amazon and Wholesale Clubs
The final quarter of 2018 will help you meet all your shopping needs at Amazon.com and any wholesale club. Finish your holiday shopping and capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals using the Discover it card online or at any Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To maximize your rewards, avoid using tap and pay or virtual wallets. Using your Discover it card either online or at a card reader will ensure that you get the rewards you deserve.
Watch for Amazon’s Lightning Deals, which are offered to Prime members 30 minutes earlier than other customers. You can also use your Discover it card at the Amazon Outlet, which has lower priced and overstocked items.
If you use this rewards tool, you can reap even more savings. Simply search for a store name (e.g. Target) to combine their online cashback offerings with the Discover it card.
When you shop online at Target.com, you will get free shipping on orders of $35 or more. The Cartwheel app also offers extra savings, including printable coupons and weekly ads.
If you have not reached the $1,500 spending limit toward the end of the quarter, consider maxing out that category bonus by purchasing gift cards from the featured retailer. For example, you could buy a gas gift card at the wholesale club of your choice during the last quarter of the year.
Other Cards to Consider
Chase Freedom Unlimited: With this card, after you spend $500 in the first three months, you will get a $150 bonus. All purchases earn 1.5 percent cash back, and there is no minimum to redeem. There is no annual fee, and card members get 0% APR for the first 15 months. To maximize savings, you can pair this card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and redeem for more lucrative travel rewards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
- % 1.5% on Dining
- % 1.5% on Gas
- % 1.5% on Travel
- % 1.5% on All Other Purchases
- $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
- $25 bonus when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3-month period
- Get $100 cash back for each friend who gets the Freedom Unlimited® card
- 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars